Transitioning from AutoCAD to ARCHICAD
Things changed in January of 2015 for the Naples, FL based team at Hlevel Architects. The team made the transition from AutoCAD to ARCHICAD. The growing firm, which specializes in both residential and commercial projects recently completed several projects with ARCHICAD.
Although still new to the software, relatively speaking, the team at Hlevel has come to know that that transition was worth the effort. Firm principle, Michaela Reiterer Henning explains, “After having used ARCHICAD for residential, interior commercial and renovation projects, we now truly understand the potential of the software. We are happy that we have moved toward using such a powerful design tool that helps us collaborate with clients, consultants and contractors.”
One such project – a 4,500 square foot, two story residential (single family) home provided a chance for the team at Hlevel to experience firsthand how ARCHICAD can assist in designing and creating the model. In a similar way, the benefits of ARCHICAD became apparent to the team as they worked on a multi-family dwelling – which amounted to a tenant improvement project and required heavy interior work.
“On the tenant improvement project, we were able to use ARCHICAD to create the images and sections all the way through to the cabinetry. We found it beneficial to save the interiors in the model and make shop drawings for those details. We saved loads of time because of all the detailing we created. Equally beneficial was the visualization in ARCHICAD as we created the dormers in the single family home. In AutoCAD, it would have been a very complicated process, because the ceiling heights change.”
Because the models had such rich detailing, principle Michaela Reiterer Henning says they served to facilitate communication with structural engineers on the project. “We were able to customize sections for them. In AutoCAD we would have had to have to redraw each section. Simply by switching the viewpoints we created a clear understanding for all the project members.”
Saving Time & Increasing Efficiency with ARCHICAD BIM Software
The addition of ARCHICAD shifted the workflow at Hlevel, but Henning says the shift provides a time savings and creates efficiency throughout the process.
“Our work flow has changed due to the more complex set up of ARCHICAD. During the schematic and design development phase, we spend a bit more time. That’s because ARCHICAD adjusts your thinking to 3D for materials and construction right away versus just showing some 2D lines in AutoCAD before. The construction drawings, details and schedules are pretty much done by the time design development is completed, so that phase goes much quicker now. Even as we continue learning, we already see its value.”